3000AD is reporting that Universal Combat, the brain child of Derek Smart, is now officially freeware as of January 2nd, 2008.
"As announced late last year, Dreamcatcher's five year rights to two of our legacy games, Battlecruiser Millennium Gold (2003) and Universal Combat (2003) expired on 12/18/07. As such, we had advised the publisher to initiate a DIF (Destroy In Field) order to its various retailers so that the games can no longer be sold. The new Dreamcatcher management (under the new Jowood owners) have complied accordingly as best we can tell.
In case you were wondering; yes, the games were still selling and generating royalty income as per the [unpaid] quarterly royalty statements from the publisher. Those [two year] accumulated and unpaid income earnings will be written off as a bad debt loss in our 2007 tax filings once we receive the Q4/07 statements which are due around the end of January '08.
That said, in keeping with the tradition of releasing my legacy games for free, I have repackaged the single player Universal Combat game and released it into the wild as freeware. Once again, our freeware game is released with no advertising, no nag screens, no expiration date, nothing. Just the full (and patched) single player game as was commercially released in Feb 2004, but with fewer music tracks (the game FAQ shows how players can add their own MP3 tracks) and no multiplayer.
The only condition under which our freeware games are released is that they not be sold under any circumstances, nor bundled as part of any commercial media (e.g. magazine cover discs) without my expressed written permission."
For those who don't remember (or never even heard of) UC, it is a hybrid space shooter and flight simulator. Basically, think Colony Wars
meets Microsoft Flight Simulator
. Those of us fond of the game also remember the phone book of a manual and how much of a pain in the ass it took to travel from one place to another.
The download page can be found here
Source: http://www.3000ad.com/site/news/ read